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Maori Karmael Holmes

Chief Executive & Artistic Officer

Maori is a curator, filmmaker and writer. She founded BlackStar in 2012 and serves as its Chief Executive & Artistic Officer. She has organized programs in film at a myriad of organizations including Anthology Film Archives, ICA, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The Underground Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. As a director, her works have screened internationally including her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop. She has directed and produced works for, Visit Philadelphia, as well as the musicians India.Arie, Mike Africa, Jr., and Wayna. Her writing has most recently appeared in Seen, Documentary Magazine, The Believer, Film Quarterly, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance, and the forthcoming Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities Across Disciplines and Algorithms. Maori received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and her BA in History from American University. She is a founding member of Lalibela Baltimore and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, The Community Board, and Programmers of Colour Collective. Maori was a 2019-2020 Soros Equality Fellow, a 2021 DOC NYC Documentary New Leader Honoree, and named as one of the Kennedy Center’s #Next50 List. In 2019, she was included in Essence Magazine’s Woke 100 List and in 2022 she was included among Philadelphia Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Philadelphians as well as the “Best Film Mogul”. She additionally serves as Mediamaker-in-Residence at the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania and Curator-at-Large at Penn Live Arts at Annenberg Center.